Top 10 Foods you Should Buy Organic

Consumer Reports recently published a report detailing the top foods you should always try to buy organic. Since organic foods can typically cost close to 50% more, we decided we’d list the Top 10 Foods you Should Buy Organic.

Here you go…..short and simple.

For fruits, there are five: peaches, tangerines, nectarines, strawberries, and cranberries. And for vegetables: green beans, bell and hot peppers, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

According to Consumer Reports, “The good news is we did find some fruits and vegetables where conventional versions were about as safe as the organic versions when it comes to pesticide residues.”

These include broccoli grown in the U.S. and Mexico; U.S. cherries; grapes from the U.S., Chile, Mexico, and Peru; and lettuce from the U.S. and Mexico.

 

 

8 Foods that Fight Pain

Before reaching for a bottle of painkillers, try adding some of these 8 Foods that Fight Pain to your diet.

Other than just great taste, there are foods that have the ability to fight pain and reduce inflammation. Dallas chiropractor, Dr. Jeff Manning, says that adding these foods to your diet, especially combined with chiropractic care, can help your body to heal more quickly. “Foods can greatly affect inflammation in the body; some artificial sweeteners can add to or increase inflammation, while other foods like ginger can do the exact opposite,” says chiropractor Jeff Manning of Manning Wellness Clinic in Dallas.

The following is a great list of 8 Foods that Fight Pain. You don’t need to, nor should you, try to add all at once, but trying one at a time will help you determine which work best for you.

And, according to Greatist.com, the winners are….

8 Natural Foods to Eat for Pain Relief

Whether it’s residual aches from an exceptionally tough workout, the beginnings of a pesky cold, or waking up on the wrong side of the bed, some research suggests supplementing those pain pills with certain foods could be just as helpful.

Believe it or not, those healthy fruits, veggies, and whole grains we try to pack in our diets may do more than just feed our bodies well — many of them are considered to have anti-inflammatory properties. Sometimes inflammation is a good thing, we’ll give you that — it protects our body when we’ve been injured — but it can also be painful. (Think asthma and arthritis, inflamed sore throats, and cuts or scrapes.) While some have linked [1] certain foods (including chocolate, eggs, wheat, meat, and corn) to causing inflammation, there’s also evidence that a few select delectables could help prevent it, too ((Dietary strategies for improving post-prandial glucose, lipids, inflammation, and cardiovascular health [2]. O’Keefe, J.H., Gheewala, N.M., O’Keefe, J.O. Mid America Heart Institute and University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2008 Jan 22;51(3):249-55. )). Here are eight foods that research suggests may actually help reduce pain.

ginger

1. Ginger. Ginger [3] is basically a wonder root. It combats nausea and motion sickness, and fights off pain with itsanti-inflammatory [4] properties ((Ginger — an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions [5]. Grzanna R., Lindmark L., Frondoza C.G., RMG Biosciences, Inc. Journal of Medicinal Food, 2005 Summer;8(2):125-32.)). Some especially great news for the ladies: One study showed that ginger (specifically in the form of a 250g or 500g capsule of powdered ginger) was as effective as ibuprofen in relieving menstrual pain ((Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. [6] Ozgoli G., Goli M., Moattar F., Nursing and Midwifery School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2009 Feb;15(2):129-32.))! Plus, ginger can be ingested a variety of ways, from supplements, to tea and cookies [7], to stir fry [8].

 salmon

 

2. Salmon. Not only is salmon tasty and a healthy protein, but it’s full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce arthritic pain (especially in the neck and back) ((Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. [9], Maroon J.C., Bost J.W., Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Surgical Neurololgy, 2006 Apr;65(4):326-31.)). In one study, the relief experienced from consuming omega-3s in the form of a fish oil supplement was comparable to the relief experienced from taking ibuprofen. Chow down on some of those omega-3s with this baked salmon with avocado yogurt sauce [10] tonight.

 coffee

 

3. Coffee. Just one more excuse to grab that second cup of Joe! Research suggests caffeine can reduce pain in those suffering from exercise-induced muscular injury and pain ((Caffeine attenuates delayed-onset muscle pain and force loss following eccentric exercise. [11] Maridakis V., O’Connor P.J., Dudley G.A., et. al. Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-6554, USA. Journal of Pain: Official Journal of the American Pain Society, 2007 Mar;8(3):237-43.)). Not only that, when taken with a standard dose of pain reliever (ibuprofen, for example), one study found that a 100mg to 130mg caffeine supplement — equal to about the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee —  increased pain relief ((Caffeine as an analgesic adjuvant for acute pain in adults. [12], Derry C.J., Derry S., Moore R.A., Pain Research and Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (Nuffield Division of Anaesthetics), University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. Cochrane Database Systematic Review, 2012 Mar 14;3:CD009281.)).

echinacea

4. Echinacea and Sage. Got an aching throat? Some research shows that throat sprays containing sage or echinacea can help provide relief from that nasty sore throat ((Echinacea/sage or chlorhexidine/lidocaine for treating acute sore throats: a randomized double-blind trial., [13] Schapowal A., Berger D., Klein P., Suter A., Allergy Clinic, CH-7302 Landquart, Switzerland. European Journal of Medical Research, 2009 Sep 1;14(9):406-12.)), though there have been few other studies on this benefit, so the evidence isn’t hulk strong [14]. Another survey looking at 14 different studies found that echinacea [15] can decrease the number of cold infections caught, and reduce their durations ((Evaluation of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common cold: a meta-analysis. [16] Shah S.A., Sander S., White C.M., University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, Storrs, CT. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2007 Jul;7(7):473-80.)). Sage is easy to find at most grocery stores and is also especially tasty in any of these recipes [17], while echinacea is more commonly found in pill and ointment form. When choosing to take a supplement like echinacea, be aware: Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, so manufacturers can often get away with making unproven claims [18] about both the contents of the pills and the benefits of those contents.cherries

 

5. Tart Cherries. Turns out tart cherries [19] are good for more than causing a pucker face. Studies have found they can help treat gout [20](a painful form of arthritis that causes swollen, hot, red joints caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood) ((Cherry consumption and decreased risk of recurrent gout attacks [21]. Zhang, Y., Neogi, T., Chen, C., et al. Boston University, Boston, MA. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 2012 Dec;64(12):4004-11.)) ((Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women [22]. Jacob, RA., Spinozzi, GM., Simon, VA., et al. U.S. Department of Agriculture/ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA. The Journal of Nutrition, 2003 Jun;133(6):1826-9. )). But it’s not just for gout — athletes can benefit, too. In one study, those who drank tart cherry juice [23] for seven days prior to an intense running event showed reduced muscle-pain after the race ((Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial. [24], Kuehl K.S., Perrier E.T., Elliot D.L., Department of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2010 May 7;7:17.)) ((Dietary beta-cryptoxanthin and inflammatory polyarthritis: results from a population-based prospective study. [25]Pattison D.J., Symmons D.P., Lunt M., Arthritis Research Campaign Epidemiology Unit, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005 Aug;82(2):451-5.)). Drink up!

jack

6. Whiskey. No, we do not recommend whiskey for a broken heart or curing any sort of emotional pain. But, it turns out adding a spoonful to warm water [26] may just do the trick to kick that pesky sore throat.

 

 

oranges

7. Oranges. While vitamin C has been linked to helping prevent the onset of colds [27] and respiratory infections, an antioxidant called beta-cryptoxanthin [28], found in oranges and other orange fruits and veggies such as sweet potato and cantaloupe, has been found to help reduce the risk of anti-inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis ((Dietary beta-cryptoxanthin and inflammatory polyarthritis: results from a population-based prospective study. [25]Pattison D.J., Symmons D.P., Lunt M., Arthritis Research Campaign Epidemiology Unit, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005 Aug;82(2):451-5.)). Another reason to get out that juicer and start making fresh OJ each day. (Or, you know, just eat an orange.)primrose

8. Evening Primrose. Usually found as an oil, this flower’s powers have been linked to treating atopic dermatitis (a chronic itchy skin condition), rheumatoid arthritis, and PMS symptoms ((Evening primrose oil is effective in atopic dermatitis: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. [29] Senapati S., Banerjee S., Gangopadhyay D.N., Department of Dermatology, Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, India. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, 2008 Sep-Oct;74(5):447-52.)) ((Herbal therapy for treating rheumatoid arthritis., Cameron M., Gagnier J.J., Chrubasik S [30]., School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, McAuley at Banyo, 1100 Nudgee Road, Banyo, QLD, Australia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2011 Feb 16;(2):CD002948.)). The gamma-inolenic acid in the oil has anti-coagulant effects that may help reduce the effects of cardiovascular illnesses ((Assessment of anticoagulant effect of evening primrose oil. [31], Riaz A., Khan R.A., Ahmed S.P., Department of Pharmacology, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2009 Oct;22(4):355-9.)).

Check out this list for more. http://greatist.com/health/foods-pain-relief

 

Tuscan Barley Soup with Turkey Sausage

IMG_1589Tuscan Barley Soup with Turkey Sausage is a Manning Wellness Clinic favorite! It’s thick and slightly creamy, but there is no cream in it! You can use either pearl barley or for some added nutrition, hulled barley. But keep in mind that the hulled barley needs about 90 minutes to cook thoroughly.  I think it also makes the soup a little thicker. Let us know if you have any questions! Hope you enjoy!
Tuscan Barley Soup
Original Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis, with changes by Manning Wellness Clinic, Dallas, Texas.

Total Time:
1 hr
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
40 min

Yield:4 to 6 servings
Level:Easy
Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 sweet or spicy turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 cup pearled barley
8 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
4 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
4 medium parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into1/2-inch slices
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 medium leek, thinly sliced (or 1/2 diced onion is fine too)
One 12-ounce bunch Swiss or Rainbow chard, center stem removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces. Slice the center stems.
1 Parmesan cheese rind, optional
1 dried bay leaf
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a 5-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon into small pieces, until brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked sausage and reserve.

Add the barley and cook stirring constantly until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the broth, carrots, parsnips, chard center stems, fennel, leeks,cheese rind if using, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the barley is tender, about 35 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, add zucchini and chard leaves. Cook approx another 7 minutes until zucchini is cooked to your liking.

Remove the Parmesan rind and bay leaf, and discard. Season the soup with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cooked sausage. Shredded parmesan also makes a yummy topping.

14 Foods you Should Never Eat

It seems every time you try to make a healthy food choice, some new research tells you, “NO, DON’T EAT THAT!!” At the end of the day, it’s not only frustrating, but incredibly confusing, too. The link below, 14 Foods you Should Never Eat  is a somewhat new list, with some obvious choices (artificial food coloring), but also some new ones like sprouts. See, that’s where it gets confusing since sprouted everything seems to be all the rage! Take a peek….maybe make a few adjustments to your diet. We’re veering into a new year, so the timing is perfect! If you have any questions and/or other suggestions for the list, please post and share.

 

http://www.rodalenews.com/food-ingredients-avoid

One of the 14 foods you should never eat

 

Top 10 Best Foods For Brain Health

Hate to state the obvious, but what you eat plays a pivotal role in how you feel. There are best foods for brain health. It’s the reason chiropractor Dr. Jeff Manning of Manning Wellness Clinic in Dallas routinely asks patients about their diet. The more in tune you are with how you feel, the more likely you are to make positive changes to your diet. “Think about the times of the day you feel the sluggishness,” says Dr. Manning, “and think about what you ate a few hours before. Was is a burger? Salad? Overly sweet smoothie? Chances are those foods are directly impacting your energy levels.” Dr. Manning suggests keeping a food diary for a few days to better track how you feel. “Say you eat lunch at noon, take note around 3pm and jot down how you are feeling. Look back over your diary and see what foods gave you the biggest boost, especially to your brain.”

The following is a list of the Top 10 Best Foods for Brain Health. These foods are proven to enhance your brain health as well as ensure your brain is functioning properly on a daily basis. So sit back, enjoy, and put those chips away – they won’t help make your brain any better or bigger, but they will increase other parts of your body.

10. Oysters for Brain Health

Oysters are a Best Food for Brain Health

If you’re a seafood kind of person, then today just may be your lucky day. Oysters are a best food for brain health. Experiments have shown that oysters are great for your brain, no matter your age. Because they are rich in zinc as well as iron, eating this under-the-sea-delight will help to keep your mind sharp and increase your ability to recall information easily. Zinc and iron have been linked to the brain’s ability to stay focused and remember information. A lack of zinc and iron can result in memory lapses, poor concentration, and of course other ailments throughout the body.

9. Whole Grains for Your Brains

Whole grains are a Best Food for Brain HealthIf you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know just how healthy whole grains are for your body; however, they are also a best food for brain health.  Whole wheat, bran, and wheat germ have high contents of folate, as do brown rice, oatmeal, whole-grain breads, barley, and others. All of these foods work to increase blood flow to the brain which means a higher quality and quantity of brain function. Also, these whole grain foods contain a lot of vitamin B6, which is full of thiamine. Thiamine is great for anyone trying to improve their memory. Scientific research has shown that memory loss dramatically increases by the time you reach your late 60’s or early 70’s; so whole grains are especially good for you as you get older.

8. Tea

Forget your coffee in the morning (or as your afternoon pick-me-up)- try a cup of tea! The liquid version of a best food for brain health. Freshly brewed green or black tea is extremely beneficial to your brain because it is full of catechins. Have you ever had a day where you just feel drained, tired, and “too lazy” to think? It may be because you are lacking catechins in your brain. Catechins are great for keeping your mind sharp, fresh, and functioning properly. Not only do they keep your brain working right, they also allow it to relax and help to fight against mental fatigue. While green tea is much more potent than black tea, both are extremely good for you. Tea is definitely a great thing to drink early in the morning to ensure you’re starting your brain off right.

7. Eggs Help Keep Your Memory from Cracking

Eggs are a Best Food for Brain Health

 When we get older, our brains begin to shrink due to something called brain atrophy. While some of us might want other parts of our body to shrink, I’m pretty sure no one wants a shrinking brain. However, we can fight against this natural process by eating eggs. This is because eggs are full of vitamin B12 as well as lecithin. Vitamin B12 helps to fight against brain shrinkage, which is often seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Eggs, though very unhealthy if you eat too many of them, are full of essential fatty acids. The yolk, though very high in cholesterol, is also high in choline, which is a very important building block of brain cells. Choline can help improve your memory. While eating too many eggs can be bad for your health, eating 1-2 egg products a day can be great  brain food.

6. Curry to Spice Up Your Brain Health

 curry is a Best Food for Brain Health

This spicy food is a great way to spice up your brain and keep it fresh. A main ingredient in curry powder, curcumin is full of antioxidants that help fight against brain aging and maintain cognitive function as you get older. These antioxidants also fight against free radical damage that can occur within the brain as well as the body.  Free radicals can cause inflammation and other ailments within the body. Not only is curry good for your brain, it also can fight against diabetes and heart disease. Too hot for you to handle? You don’t have to have curry for lunch and dinner each day; the smallest amount of curry once a month can be a highly beneficial best food for brain health.

5. Berries, Berry Good Food for Your Brain

berries are a Best Food for Brain Health

If you’re not a vegetable person, you can rely on fruit, especially berries, to improve your brain health. For example, blueberries are well known for their role in improving motor skills as well as your overall learning capacity. They are often called the best berry for your brain, and today you may notice the plethora of products using blueberries. Most berries, including blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and others, are full of antioxidants that are great for boosting the brain. You can help reverse the effects of aging on the brain by eating these berries once a day. Berries are sometimes referred to as “super-fruits” because most of them contain fisetin and flavenoid, which are great for improving your memory and allowing you to easily recall past events. A delicious and helpful food for the brain.

4. Nuts and Seeds

nuts-and-seeds are a Best Food for Brain Health

 

Looking for a best food for brain health that’s a snack food? Then look no further than nuts and seeds… The good thing about this is that all types of nuts are included. This means peanuts, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and any other type of nut or seed you can think of, are good for your brain. Nuts and seeds are full of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as folate, vitamin E, and vitamin B6. All of these nutrients allow you to think more clearly. They also help you think more positively, because Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids work as natural antidepressants. Some seeds and nuts are also full of thiamine and magnesium, which are great for memory, cognitive function, and brain nourishment.

3. Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy greens are a Best Food for Brain Health

 

Leafy green vegetables such as cabbage, kale, spinach, and others, while not very well-liked by children, are excellent for the brain of children and adults alike. These vegetables help greatly when it comes time to remember old information and process it like you just learned it yesterday. This is because these foods are often full of vitamin B6, B12, and folate, which are great compounds needed within the brain to break down homocystein levels, which can lead to forgetfulness and even Alzheimer’s disease. These vegetables are often very high in iron content. If there is not enough iron in-take, cognitive activity slows down greatly. So when mom always urged you to eat your spinach, now you know why:  Greens are a best food for brain health! A Manning Wellness favorite is Kale Chips.

2. Fish

fish is a Best Food for Brain Health

Eating fish overall is greatly beneficial to your health, especially that of your brain. Fish is full of Omega-3, which is a fatty acid known to be highly beneficial to the body in various aspects. Eating one serving of fish a week can highly decrease one’s chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease. These fatty acids help with brain function because they coat the neurons that at times have a fatty acid layer that becomes stiff due to a high content cholesterol and saturated fat in the body. Omega-3s will coat the neurons with good fat, allowing them to move easily throughout the brain. Omega-3s also provides more oxygen to the brain, as well as allows one to retain new information while still remembering old information. The best fish to eat for brain health are salmon, tuna, and herring.

1. Chocolate

chocolate is a Best Food for Brain Health

 While eating hundreds of Hershey bars may make you sick, and drinking a lot of hot cocoa in a day just may do the same, the main ingredient in these oh-so-delicious foods, cocoa, is said to be very nutritious for the brain. Scientists have proven that the antioxidant content found in just two or three tablespoons of cocoa powder is much stronger than those antioxidants found in other foods, such as green tea or red wine. The main antioxidant found in cocoa, known as flavonols, is said to help increase blood flow to the brain. While normal milk chocolate lacks flavonols, you will find plenty of it in dark chocolate. And isn’t it great news to know that chocolate is good for your brain.

 

Manning Wellness Clinic

2702 McKinney Avenue, suite 202

Dallas, TX 75204

214-720-2225

www.manningwellness.com

Dr. Manning was voted Best Chiropractor in Dallas

(reprinted from Toptenz lists)

 

Splenda downgraded from “safe” to “caution”

Note from Dr. Manning: Our new patient history paperwork specifically asks about artificial sweetener consumption because I oftentimes find a link between consumption and inflammation. I do not personably consume artificial sweeteners of any kind and suggest the same to my patients.

###

Group Cites Need to Evaluate Forthcoming Italian Study Linking Artificial Sweetener to Leukemia in Mice

June 12, 2013

splendaThe Center for Science in the Public Interest is downgrading sucralose, the artificial sweetener better known by the brand name Splenda, in its Chemical Cuisine guide to food additives. The nonprofit food safety watchdog group had long rated sucralose as “safe,” but is now placing it in the “caution” category pending a review of an unpublished study by an independent Italian laboratory that found that the sweetener caused leukemia in mice. The only previous long-term feeding studies in animals were conducted by the compound’s manufacturers.

CSPI’s Chemical Cuisine gives the artificial sweeteners saccharinaspartame, and acesulfame potassium “avoid” ratings, the group’s lowest. CSPI considers rebiana, a natural high-potency sweetener obtained from stevia, to be “safe,” though deserving of better testing.

“Sucralose may prove to be safer than saccharin, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium, but the forthcoming Italian study warrants careful scrutiny before we can be confident that the sweetener is safe for use in food,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.

Despite its concerns about the risk posed by artificial sweeteners, CSPI says consumers who drink soda are still probably better off drinking diet soda than sugar-sweetened soda, which poses the greater and demonstrable risks of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, gout, tooth decay, and other health problems. Soft drinks—diet or regular—often contain questionable food dyes and so-called caramel coloring that is contaminated with cancer-causing 4-methylimidazole. To avoid the risks of both sugars and non-caloric sweeteners, CSPI urges people to switch to water, seltzer water, flavored unsweetened waters, seltzer mixed with some fruit juice, or unsweetened iced tea.

CSPI has also made new entries in Chemical Cuisine for some other natural, high-potency sweeteners that aren’t widely used yet but are on the horizon. Monkfruit extract, used in some foods, contain substances called mogrosides that are about 200 times sweeter than sugar, but with an aftertaste described as licorice-like. Monkfruit, also known as Luo Han Guo and Lo Han Kuo, has been used as food in China for several hundred years. Monatin is a plant-based sweeter derived from the root of a shrub found in South Africa that is supposedly some 3,000 times sweeter than sugar. Those two sweeteners might also prove to be safe, but CSPI gives them a “caution” rating on the basis of inadequate testing.

Chemical Cuisine includes much more than sweeteners. While most of the additives will be disclosed on ingredients lists, some will not. Transglutaminase is a naturally occurring enzyme that’s presumably safe on its own. Known informally as “meat glue,” the enzyme lets chefs or manufacturers fuse together inexpensive cuts of beef into the distinctive shape of more expensive filet mignon. Besides cheating consumers, that practice can result in a less-safe steak since bacteria ordinarily confined to the surface of the steak are driven into the interior.

Castoreum is a rarely used additive that CSPI, as well as the Food and Drug Administration, assume to be safe. Any food manufacturer that actually uses it will likely list it among “natural flavorings” on ingredient lists and not disclose where castoreum actually comes from: the anal castor sacs of beavers.

####

Manning Wellness Clinic  2702 McKinney Ave, s. 202   Dallas, TX 75204

214-720-2225  www.manningwellness.com

Manning Wellness Clinic is a top-rated comprehensive chiropractic clinic servicing

Uptown, downtown, Park Cities and the Oak Lawn areas of Dallas.

 

A Better Mac and Cheese recipe

To post information about the questionable additives in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and suggest that you try to cut down or eliminate eating it, leaves a void for many mac-n-cheese loving folks…our children included. The following recipe, though not flavored or colored like the well-known blue box, definitely fits the bill when you’re craving some comfort food. And it is EASY!! Our kids love it, as do their friends.

A Better Mac and Cheese

mac and cheese

1  1/2 cups cottage cheese

1 1/2 cups skim milk (1 or 2% is ok too)

1 tsp dried mustard or 1 Tbl prepared mustard

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt (cottage cheese has a high sodium content so you can omit this)

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/4 cup grated onions (you can sub with 2 T chopped dried onion)

1 cup plus extra grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 lb uncooked whole wheat macaroni

2 Tbl grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 9 or 10″ square baking pan with a light  coating of cooking spray. In a blender, combine the cottage cheese, milk, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper and purée until smooth. In a large bowl combine the puréed mixture with the onions, cheddar cheese, and uncooked macaroni. Stir well. Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into the baking pan. Combine the grated Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle evenly over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes until the topping is browned and the center is firm.

 

Is It Better to Walk or Run?

Walking and running are the most popular physical activities for American adults. But whether one is preferable to the other in terms of improving health has long been debated. Now a variety of new studies that pitted running directly against walking are providing some answers. Their conclusion? It depends almost completely on what you are hoping to accomplish.

If, for instance, you are looking to control your weight — and shallowly or not, I am — running wins, going away. In a study published last month in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, and unambiguously titled “Greater Weight Loss From Running than Walking,” researchers combed survey data from 15,237 walkers and 32,215 runners enrolled in the National Runners and Walkers Health Study — a large survey being conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.

Participants were asked about their weight, waist circumference, diets and typical weekly walking or running mileage both when they joined the study, and then again up to six years later.

The runners almost uniformly were thinner than the walkers when each joined the study. And they stayed that way throughout. Over the years, the runners maintained their body mass and waistlines far better than the walkers.

The difference was particularly notable among participants over 55. Runners in this age group were not running a lot and generally were barely expending more calories per week during exercise than older walkers. But their body mass indexes and waist circumferences remained significantly lower than those of age-matched walkers.

Why running should better aid weight management than walking is not altogether clear. It might seem obvious that running, being more strenuous then walking, burns more calories per hour. And that’s true. But in the Berkeley study and others, when energy expenditure was approximately matched — when walkers head out for hours of rambling and burn the same number of calories over the course of a week as runners — the runners seem able to control their weight better over the long term.

One reason may be running’s effect on appetite, as another intriguing, if small, study suggests. In the study, published last year in the Journal of Obesity, nine experienced female runners and 10 committed female walkers reported to the exercise physiology lab at the University of Wyoming on two separate occasions. On one day, the groups ran or walked on a treadmill for an hour. On the second day, they all rested for an hour. Throughout each session, researchers monitored their total energy expenditure. They also drew blood from their volunteers to check for levels of certain hormones related to appetite.

After both sessions, the volunteers were set free in a room with a laden buffet and told to eat at will.

The walkers turned out to be hungry, consuming about 50 calories more than they had burned during their hourlong treadmill stroll.

The runners, on the other hand, picked at their food, taking in almost 200 calories less than they had burned while running.

The runners also proved after exercise to have significantly higher blood levels of a hormone called peptide YY, which has been shown to suppress appetite. The walkers did not have increased peptide YY levels; their appetites remained hearty.

So to eat less, run first.

But on other measures of health, new science shows that walking can be at least as valuable as running — and in some instances, more so. A study published this month that again plumbed data from the Runners and Walkers Health Study found that both runners and walkers had equally diminished risks of developing age-related cataracts compared to sedentary people, an unexpected but excellent benefit of exercise.

And in perhaps the most comforting of the new studies, published last month in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and again using numbers from the versatile Runners and Walkers Health Study, runners had far less risk of high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol profiles, diabetes and heart disease than their sedentary peers. But the walkers were doing even better. Runners, for instance, reduced their risk of heart disease by about 4.5 percent if they ran an hour a day. Walkers who expended the same amount of energy per day reduced their risk of heart disease by more than 9 percent.

Of course, few walkers match the energy expenditure of runners. “It’s fair to say that, if you plan to expend the same energy walking as running, you have to walk about one and a half times as far and that it takes about twice as long,” said Paul T. Williams, a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and the lead author of all of the studies involving the surveys of runners and walkers.

On the other hand, people who begin walking are often more unhealthy than those who start running, and so their health benefits from the exercise can be commensurately greater.

“It bears repeating that either walking or running is healthier than not doing either,” Dr. Williams said, whatever your health goals.

For confirmation, consider one additional aspect of the appetite study. The volunteers in that experiment had sat quietly for an hour during one session, not exercising in any fashion, neither running nor walking. And afterward they were famished, consuming about 300 calories more than the meager few they had just burned.  

Addicted to Sugar?

Sugar. Honey. Maple syrup. Molasses. High fructose corn syrup. All of these are “added sugars,” and you are probably eating — and drinking – too much of them.

So says the latest report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics examined survey data from thousands of American adults to figure out whether we’re following the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines advise us to limit our total intake of added sugars, fats and other “discretionary calories” to between 5% and 15% of total calories consumed every day.images-2

It should come as no surprise that Americans as a whole are blowing past the 15% limit. In fact, the new report finds that from 2005 to 2010 we got 13% of our total calories from added sugar alone, according to the CDC report. This is a problem not just because sugar is full of calories that cause us to gain weight, but because sugary items often displace fruits, vegetables and other foods that contain essential nutrients.

Overall, men consumed more sugar per day (an average of 335 calories) than women (239), the researchers found. But as a percentage of total calories consumed per day, men and women were pretty even — 12.7% vs. 13.2%.

Adults tended to eat the most sugar in their 20s and 30s, with consumption falling steadily over time. For instance, men between 20 and 39 ate and drank 397 calories of added sugar per day, on average, while men in their 40s and 50s consumed an average of 338 such calories per day and men in the 60+ crowd consumed 224 calories of added sugar daily. For women, the daily consumption peaked at 275 calories in the 20-39 age group before falling to 236 calories for those 40 to 59 and a mere 182 calories for those 60 and older. For both men and women, added sugar’s contribution to total calories fell steadily from the 14% range to the 11% range.

African Americans got more of their calories from added sugars — 14.5% for men and 15.2% for women —  than whites (12.8% for men, 13.2% for women) or Mexican Americans (12.9% for men, 12.6% for women). The differences between whites and Mexican Americans were not statistically significant.

The researchers also discovered that the poorer people were, the bigger the role that added sugars played in their diets. Women in the lowest income category got 15.7% of their calories from sugar, compared with 13.4% for women in the middle income category and 11.6% for women with the highest incomes. For men, the corresponding figures were 14.1%, 13.6% and 11.5%.

Although sugar-sweetened soda is the single biggest source of added sugars in the American diet, beverages overall accounted for only one-third of added sugars consumed by adults, compared with two-thirds from food. In addition, about 67% of added sugars from food were eaten at home, along with 58% of added sugars from drinks.

The researchers noted some differences between their findings for adults and what other studies have reported about children and teens. For example, the contribution of added sugars to total daily calories was comparable for black and white children and lower for Mexican-American children. And, children and teens of all income levels get the same proportion of daily calories from added sugars.

Added sugars do not include the sugars that occur naturally in fruit and milk. As the name implies, added sugars are used as ingredients in prepared and processed foods and drinks. For the sake of the analysis, other forms of added sugar included brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, malt syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose and dextrin.

By Karen Kaplan, Science Now blog.

 

 

Surprising advice that’ll transform how you enjoy favorite foods

Eat bananas when they’re green and potatoes when they’re cold

By JULIETTE KELLOW
UPDATED: 18:28 EST, 13 February 2012

The type of food you heap on to your plate is not the only thing you need to think about. How you cook, prepare or eat it can dramatically affect its health benefits. Here, dietitian Juliette Kellow reveals the best ways to serve popular kitchen staples…

SWEETCORN IS BEST FROM A CAN

Canned sweetcorn still counts as one of your five a day. And, now, scientists from New York’s Cornell University have even found the heat treatment used to process canned sweetcorn increases the amount of antioxidants in it by a huge 44 per cent.

Antioxidants help to mop up the free radicals in the body, which can damage cells and raise the risk of health problems such as heart disease and cancer. This increase in antioxidants more than makes up for the loss of vitamin C from canning.

Unripe is right: A greener banana means you’ll absorb fewer calories

CHILL YOUR POTATOES

When potatoes are cooked, their starch cells swell and start to break down — a process known as gelatinisation. This allows them to be digested more easily.

But when potatoes are chilled after cooking, some of the gelatinised starch is converted into a more solid, crystalline form of starch that can’t be digested, called resistant starch.

This resistant starch, like fibre, ends up in the large intestine, where it’s thought to help improve bowel regularity. In a UK study, cooked potatoes were found to have 7 per cent resistant starch, increasing to 13 per cent when cooled.

But if you’re making potato salad, don’t undo all the good work by mixing them with mayonnaise. Instead, combine with fat-free Greek yoghurt, spring onions and chives.

DON’T COOK WITH VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Extra virgin olive oil is rich in omega-6 fats, which block the body’s response to inflammation in chronic conditions such as heart disease and arthritis. Many people use it to cook with in favour of other oils.

But as this type of olive oil is less processed than other oils, it has a low smoke point — the temperature at which the nutritional benefits are affected.

Once oils have reached this point, their chemical composition alters and they start to contain more free radicals — harmful molecules that can damage cells. So it is not a good choice for high temperature cooking and is best left for dressings and marinades.

BOIL CARROTS, DON’T STEAM THEM

Italian researchers have found that compared to raw and steamed carrots, boiled ones had the highest levels of carotenoids — anti-oxidants the body uses to make vitamin A, which is important for growth, reproduction, immunity, healthy skin, eyes and hair.

Per 100g, boiled carrots also contained 28mg vitamin C — only a little less than the 31mg in raw carrots and a lot more than the 19mg in steamed carrots.

BREW TEA FOR AT LEAST ONE MINUTE

Brew benefits: Tea contains polyphenols – antioxidants that protect cells in the heart

Tea contains polyphenols — antioxidants that protect cells in the heart. Polyphenols are released only when tea is heated, and it takes one to four minutes sitting in hot water to do this, says nutritionist Carrie Ruxton.

According to a British Nutrition Foundation report, some studies have found that adding milk reduces the body’s absorption of polyphenols, but others say it doesn’t have an effect.

UNDERCOOK YOUR PASTA

Pasta tends to have a low glycaemic index (GI), meaning it keeps you fuller for longer so you’re less at risk of hunger pangs. But to keep it that way it needs to be cooked al dente (firm).

When pasta is firm, the digestive enzymes in the gut take longer to break down the starch into sugars, so they’re released more slowly into the bloodstream, filling us up for longer and making it easier to control our weight. If it’s overcooked, the GI increases, so the starch is more readily broken down into sugars.

So start testing your pasta at least two to three minutes before the suggested cooking time to ensure you keep an al dente texture.

USE HIGH-FAT SALAD DRESSING

To get the best from your salad, use full-fat dressing made with oil. That’s because we need fat for our bodies to absorb important antioxidants linked to healthier hearts and a lower rate of cancer. 

Research from Ohio State University found that eating fresh salad with fat helped the body to absorb antioxidants such as lycopene from tomatoes, beta-carotene from carrots and lutein and zeaxanthin from salad leaves. The more fat there is, the more antioxidants are absorbed.

As an alternative, top salads with avocado, which is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

CASSEROLE OR STEW MEAT

Grilling and barbecuing are often championed as low-fat methods for cooking meat. But the National Cancer Institute has found that cooking meat at high temperatures can create two harmful chemicals — heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — which have been linked to causing cancer in animals.

It’s healthier to cook dishes at lower temperatures and use methods that are unlikely to result in meat being charred, such as stews and casseroles. Meanwhile, add plenty of herbs and spices. Naturally occurring compounds found in rosemary, for example, have been shown to block the formation of HCAs by up to 92 per cent in meat that’s cooked at high temperatures and well-done.

And spices such as turmeric, coriander and cumin have been found to prevent HCAs from  forming by up to 39 per cent, according to research from Kansas State University.

OPT FOR ORGANIC MILK

Healthy start: Organic milk contains more omega-3 fats which are good for the heart

While most people know milk, including skimmed milk, is a rich source of calcium, what many people won’t realise is that it also contains omega-3 fats.

These are important for heart health: they reduce the stickiness of blood so it’s less likely to clot; keep the heart beating regularly; and protect small arteries.

A three-year study by the Universities of Liverpool and Glasgow suggest organic milk contains more omega-3 fats than standard milk. This is thought to be because of the cows’ diet of grass, while non-organically farmed cows rely on grains and proteins.

A recent study from Newcastle University has also found organic milk had 24 per cent more heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, including conjugated linoleic acid (which has been found to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol) and eicosapentaenoic acid (an omega-3 fat), than conventional milk. But remember, it’s important to cut down on saturated fat for a healthy heart, so opt for semi-skimmed organic.

EAT GREEN BANANAS

It’s a common misconception that ripe bananas contain more calories than unripe ones, but it’s true they taste sweeter. That’s because some of the starches are turned into sugars as banana ripens, but this doesn’t affect their calorie content.

But the degree of ripeness does affect how many calories you may get from the fruit. The less ripe a banana is, the more resistant starch it contains, and so the slower it is absorbed by the body and the lower its GI. This means more undigested starch passes into the large intestine, so a greener banana means you’ll absorb fewer calories.

SWAP LATTES FOR AMERICANOS

Research confirms that drinking four to five cups of coffee a day is safe and may even benefit health — for example, helping to protect against heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Better still, coffee counts towards the recommended daily fluid intake of 1½ to two litres. That’s why it’s better to have a long coffee rather than an espresso.

Additionally, a large latte made with full-fat milk contains 225 calories — 11 per cent of a woman’s recommended daily amount. A large Americano with a splash of semi-skimmed milk has just 50 calories.

(reprinted from the UK daily Mail)